Industry News

Leafly Announces Online ‘Budtender’ Platform: Leafly Learn

By Henry Kronk
October 21, 2019

Cannabis is currently legal for recreational use in 11 U.S. states, along with the District of Columbia. It is available for medical use in another 36 states. But while accessibility of bud is exploding, knowledge about the product has yet to follow. To meet this need, Leafly, a wide-ranging internet resource for cannabis, has announced Leafly Learn, a new online platform intended to educate dispensary sales reps, or ‘budtenders.’

Cannabis has been cultivated by humans since prehistoric times. Over millennia, the cannabis genus has been selected—or left on its own—to develop unique characteristics in countless different species and sub-strains. To the untrained eye or nose, these strains can be virtually indistinguishable from one another. In 2019, Americans have access to such a wide variety of cannabis that it’s unreasonable to expect the casual consumer who walks into a dispensary to be able to know what they’re after.

That’s where budtenders come in. 

Budtenders Need to Know the Product They’re Selling

“Budtenders are the face of the cannabis industry and the frontline for guiding customers toward products that will work best for them,” said Rebecca Kelley, content director at Leafly. “We built Leafly Learn with an understanding of the crucial role budtenders play in educating customers, and created this learning platform so that budtenders everywhere can feel supported in their careers and have more confidence in their product recommendations.”

Budtenders require a specific knowledge set to do what they do. As legalization and dispensaries have expanded across the U.S., the supply of that knowledge has worn thin. Leafly released a 2019 cannabis jobs report in March. The company found that the industry has produced 211,000 full-time jobs in the cannabis industry. A good many of these are budtenders, and many more are expected to come. 

In their October 7 release announcing Leafly Learn, the company also cites a 2017 report from the market research firm Brightfield Group, which found that 91% of consumers ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’ consider a budtender’s advice. 

“I was a budtender before I worked at Leafly, and I know a thousand questions come your way when helping customers select the right products. As the cannabis market expands and more people make careers of budtending, it’s a huge priority for us at Leafly to ensure budtenders have the support and education they need to make cannabis a positive experience for all customers,” said Maria Sharp, manager of partnerships and education at Leafly, in a statement.

Leafly Learn will be based around the company’s existing cannabis guide. Further details on the online learning platform remain forthcoming. 

Leafly Will Be Showcasing Leafly Learn with a North American Tour

To demonstrate and promote the training Leafly will be showcasing their platform with a 16-city tour across North America. The first stop occurred on October 7 in Phoenix. The tour will wrap up in Las Vegas on December 9. 

Several other options for budtender training and beyond are available both online and in person. HempStaff regularly conducts in person dispensary training sessions around the country. THC University, meanwhile, has developed eight different online courses ranging from “Terpenes: The Healing Link between Essential Oils and Cannabis” to “Cannabis Business Certification,” a how-to on running your own dispensary. 

Featured Image: Esteban Lopez, Unsplash.